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DBT Techniques For Bipolar Disorder: Part II


In my previous article, I mentioned two DBT techniques for Bipolar Disorder.  They included mindfulness and distress tolerance skills.  In this article, I will provide two more DBT techniques for Bipolar Disorder.

Recognizing Emotions

In DBT, it is very important to understand how you are feeling.  Hence, according to the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, it is very important to recognize your emotions.  This is one important technique of DBT for Bipolar patients.  One way to utilize this technique is to take a feelings word sheet and circle each feeling you are experiencing.  After you have done this, write a paragraph explaining why you feel this particular way.  This will enable you to understand why you are feeling this particular way.  This is particular important for individuals with Bipolar Disorder as they may have racing thoughts, which can cause a lot of distress and lead to distressing emotions.


In addition to journaling about your emotions, another way to understand your emotions is to validate them, according to the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook.  In other words, recognize them and validate them.  Realize they are there and accept them.  For instance, if you are experiencing a stressful situation at work, you can say to yourself “Yes, I am stressed out.  This is the reality right now.  However, everything will be ok.”

Setting Goals

Another DBT technique for patients with Bipolar Disorder is to set goals.  It is important to have short-term goals.  However, it is also important to have long-term goals, as well.  Establishing goals in all aspects of your life will help improve your state of being.  According to the book called the Dialectical Skills Workbook, the following have been provided to establish long-term goals:

  1. List any interests you have ever had, even if you never acted on them.  This is brainstorming, so write down anything that comes to mind.
  2. If you were able to come up with more than one idea, is there a specific one that you would like to start with?
  3. After you’ve chosen one, do some research to find out what’s realistic for you.
  4. What would be some first steps you may need to take toward accomplishing your goal?
  5. What is the first step you’re going to take to work toward your goal?


To end this article, this article has provided readers with three specific DBT techniques to treat Bipolar Disorder.  They include recognizing emotions, validation, in addition to setting goals.  Consider giving these DBT strategies a try if you have Bipolar Disorder

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DBT Techniques For Bipolar Disorder: Part II

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2017). DBT Techniques For Bipolar Disorder: Part II. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 15, 2020, from


Last updated: 9 Apr 2017
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